It’s been less then 10 hours of playing Horizon Zero Dawn and I already know it joins the upper class list of greatest video games ever made. Generally speaking, When a landmark game appears it is because of fresh or brand new gameplay mechanics and pulls off exactly what it was trying to achieve. Horizon Zero Dawn is a hunting game based around a story. Regardless of how good the story ends up being or not, it facilitates the great addictive game play.
The world is overrun but animal machines which just exist in nature (usually in herds minding their own business). The world had a civilization ending apocalypse in the distant past and tribes are just starting to grow strong again. The mechanics work so well because it encourages you to optimize tactics that would break a lot of other games. If you have ever played red dead redemption. You can make the game easy but making the most of cheap tactics, You can use the slow down feature and get 3-4 headshots making any crisis easy to resolve. You can use your rifle and just pick off enemies from far away. You know you can just easily win a lot of situations in many games just by using cheap unfair tactics. In Horizon Zero Dawn, It’s about setting up as many cheap tactics as possible, the best cheap tactics come from your expertise as a hunter. I was hunting a large tiger like machine, Because I have taken his type down once before. I vaguely knew his attack pattern, So I set 3 stun traps in a row which should be enough. Sure enough, after the first 2 stuns I was close to killing him when he used his jump attack and accidentally flew over the stun trap nearly killing me in a single blow. The fault was mine as a hunter as I was too close to the last trip wire. In this game you would your cheap tactics to go as well as planned before you have to rely on action and reflexes, Once you are now to the stage of dodging and reflexes it becomes really risky in terms of getting hurt.
The game wants you to predict the behavior of these machine animals, I came across my first herd of bulls. Now in a herd, Some will try and protect the herd while other may get frighten and run away. Since this was my first time, I set trip wires all around the herd so no matter which way they were going to trip them. Then I attacked. There is no real limit to how many traps you can lay down. Now because I set my traps in circle manner, when I shot my first sniper arrow. Half the herd ran in the opposite direction setting off only 1 trap, After I finished killing the protectors of the herd, the rest was long gone. Again, this was the hunters faults. What I should of done is set all those traps in one area and scared them off in that direction so I could kill the entire herd for parts. Even cheap tactics work against human type enemies, If you can silent kill a few and set a few traps before going to a sniper position to start picking off the rest. You definitive should as getting overrun is the last thing you want. You rely much less on brute force in this game and it becomes knowing your preys behavior to predict how to kill them. It’s easy to take down a single enemy without getting hit but when you have 3-4 after you, It’s so much more risky dodging and attacking. Even the slow down skill is needed in this game as you want to kill off enemies as fast as possible and every headshot is a huge help. To master this game, you have to become a master hunter and a master hunter relies on the knowledge of the land. It also feels sooo good when a plan is perfectly executed.